Dividend Contenders: 35 Increases Expected By The End Of April

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Includes: ADI, ALB, AUBN, BBY, CATC, COST, DGICA, DGICB, DLR, ELS, ESS, FLS, IPCC, LLL, LYBC, MGRC, MYBF, NEE, NHI, NUS, NWE, OMI, PBCT, PRGO, RNR, ROST, RTN, SCG, SKT, SLGN, SRE, TMK, TPL, WSM, XEL
by: David Fish

Summary

McGrath RentCorp and People's United to attain Champion status.

CCC universe approaches 800 companies.

Double-digit increases to continue at 10 companies?

In compiling the Dividend Champions list (found here), I get to see which companies are nearing the anniversaries of their previous dividend increases. Since most of these firms raise their payouts about the same time every year, I can say with some confidence that they are likely to do so again. I have separated the Champions (25 or more years of higher dividends), Contenders (10-24 years), and Challengers (5-9 years) into distinct groupings, so please look for the other articles, which I hope will be published about the same time. Note that "CCC" refers to the combination of Champions, Contenders, and Challengers.

Expansion Returns

The first six weeks of 2017 have demonstrated how strong (and widespread) dividend growth can be, as dozens of companies have already extended their streaks of dividend growth and the CCC "universe" has grown to almost 800 companies. (There are 798 as of this writing.) As mentioned in recent months, the light activity from mid-December to mid-January gave way to a sharp pick-up in dividend increase announcements with ex-dividend dates beginning around Groundhog Day and that will continue through March and April, when many companies announce their annual earnings and schedule the annual shareholder meetings. The number of announcements for all Champions, Contenders, Challengers, and Near-Challengers expected in the next 11 weeks has declined from 186 a month ago to 133 now, a good indication of how "busy" late January and February has been for dividend increase announcements.

The table below coincides with the usual "forward look" of about 11 weeks for this article. Based on last year's announcements, I'm expecting the following companies to announce dividend increases between now and the anniversary of the ex-dividend date of their previous increase:

Dividend Contenders (10-24 years):

Company

Ticker

No.

1/31/17

Div.

MR%

LY

Ann.

DGR

Name

Symbol

Yrs

Price

Yield

Inc.

Ex-Div

Div.

5-yr

Analog Devices Inc.

(NASDAQ:ADI)

14

74.94

2.24

5.00

2/24/16

1.68

11.6

NextEra Energy

(NYSE:NEE)

22

123.72

2.81

12.99

2/24/16

3.48

9.6

Nu Skin Enterprises Inc.

(NYSE:NUS)

16

51.88

2.74

1.43

2/24/16

1.42

19.2

Perrigo Company plc

(NASDAQ:PRGO)

14

76.15

0.76

16.00

2/24/16

0.58

14.9

Muncy Bank Financial Inc.

(OTCPK:MYBF)

16

35.25

3.06

8.00

2/25/16

1.08

10.0

L-3 Communications Holdings

(NYSE:LLL)

13

158.69

1.76

7.69

2/26/16

2.80

10.1

Texas Pacific Land Trust

(NYSE:TPL)

13

317.52

0.10

6.90

3/7/16

0.31

8.1

Auburn National Bancorporation

(NASDAQ:AUBN)

15

32.94

2.73

2.27

3/8/16

0.90

2.4

Cambridge Bancorp

(NASDAQ:CATC)

18

64.00

2.88

2.22

3/8/16

1.84

5.3

SCANA Corp.

(NYSE:SCG)

16

68.70

3.35

5.50

3/8/16

2.30

3.3

Infinity Property & Casualty

(NASDAQ:IPCC)

14

86.85

2.39

20.93

3/9/16

2.08

23.6

Ross Stores Inc.

(NASDAQ:ROST)

22

66.11

0.82

14.89

3/10/16

0.54

19.7

Digital Realty Trust

(NYSE:DLR)

12

107.63

3.27

3.53

3/11/16

3.52

5.3

NorthWestern Corp.

(NYSE:NWE)

12

57.11

3.50

4.17

3/11/16

2.00

6.8

Owens & Minor Inc.

(NYSE:OMI)

19

35.88

2.84

0.99

3/11/16

1.02

5.0

Xcel Energy

(NYSE:XEL)

13

41.32

3.29

6.25

3/11/16

1.36

5.5

RenaissanceRe Holdings

(NYSE:RNR)

21

136.32

0.91

3.33

3/13/16

1.24

3.6

Albemarle Corp.

(NYSE:ALB)

22

92.64

1.32

5.17

3/14/16

1.22

13.7

Silgan Holdings Inc.

(NASDAQ:SLGN)

13

58.51

1.16

6.25

3/14/16

0.68

9.1

Best Buy Co.

(NYSE:BBY)

14

44.52

2.52

21.74

3/15/16

1.12

11.9

Equity Lifestyle Properties

(NYSE:ELS)

12

73.94

2.30

13.33

3/23/16

1.70

18.3

Flowserve Corp.

(NYSE:FLS)

10

49.16

1.55

5.56

3/23/16

0.76

12.5

Sempra Energy

(NYSE:SRE)

13

102.39

2.95

7.86

3/23/16

3.02

10.1

Essex Property Trust

(NYSE:ESS)

22

224.30

2.85

11.11

3/29/16

6.40

8.5

Lyons Bancorp Inc.

(OTCPK:LYBC)

16

33.95

2.95

25.00

3/29/16

1.00

15.9

National Health Investors

(NYSE:NHI)

14

73.99

4.87

5.88

3/29/16

3.60

7.7

Torchmark Corp.

(NYSE:TMK)

11

73.54

0.76

3.70

3/31/16

0.56

13.4

Raytheon Company

(NYSE:RTN)

12

144.16

2.03

9.33

4/4/16

2.93

11.5

McGrath RentCorp

(NASDAQ:MGRC)

24

38.28

2.66

2.00

4/13/16

1.02

2.1

Costco Wholesale

(NASDAQ:COST)

13

163.95

1.10

12.50

4/27/16

1.80

13.6

Tanger Factory Outlet Centers

(NYSE:SKT)

23

34.19

3.80

14.04

4/27/16

1.30

9.7

Williams-Sonoma Inc.

(NYSE:WSM)

11

48.21

3.07

5.71

4/27/16

1.48

17.2

Donegal Group Inc. A

(NASDAQ:DGICA)

14

16.47

3.34

1.85

4/28/16

0.55

2.9

Donegal Group Inc. B

(NASDAQ:DGICB)

14

15.80

3.04

2.13

4/28/16

0.48

2.4

People's United Financial

(NASDAQ:PBCT)

24

18.75

3.63

1.49

4/28/16

0.68

1.5

MR=Most Recent; LY=Last Year; DGR=Dividend Growth Rate through 2015

Not all of the above companies will meet the strict standards of every investor, but some may be appropriate for portfolio diversification. Potential investors should do more research before committing funds.

Every Picture Tells a Story

As a bonus, I'm inserting one of Chuck Carnevale's F.A.S.T. Graphs below, highlighting one of the companies listed above. When the stock's price line has moved into the green area, it indicates that the stock is undervalued in relation to its earnings. I'm attaching the chart below.

Disclosure: I am/we are long SCG,COST.

I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Editor's Note: This article covers one or more stocks trading at less than $1 per share and/or with less than a $100 million market cap. Please be aware of the risks associated with these stocks.